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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 101-06
Tuesday, October 31, 2006

(212) 788-5290; (212) 788-3058 (After Hours)
Andrew Tucker (atucker@health.nyc.gov);
Josh Bell (jbell@health.nyc.gov)




HEALTH DEPARTMENT URGES PEOPLE OVER 50, YOUNG CHILDREN, PEOPLE WITH CHRONIC MEDICAL CONDITIONS, AND HEALTH CARE WORKERS TO GET THEIR FLU SHOT THIS SEASON

Less Than One-Third of Health Care Workers Getting Vaccinated
City Clinics are Now Offering Flu Shots; Call 3-1-1 or Visit nyc.gov/health/flu

NEW YORK CITY - October 31, 2006 - City clinics are now offering flu shots, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) announced today. DOHMH urged people over age 50, people with chronic medical conditions, young children - as well as their caretakers and household contacts - to get a flu shot. Additionally, all health care workers should get vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated that there will be enough vaccine for everyone who wants a shot to get one this year. New Yorkers should ask their doctor for a flu shot; those without a doctor can call 3-1-1 to find out where to get a no-cost flu shot.

"There will be an ample supply of vaccine this year," said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden. "Doctors are now getting their supplies in stock and will be able to vaccinate their patients. Now is the best time to get your flu shot - getting vaccinated now will protect you for this year's flu season. You cannot get the flu from the shot and - for people over 65 in particular - the flu shot significantly reduces risk of serious illness or death from flu complications."

DOHMH also announced that only one out of three health care workers in New York City is getting their annual flu shot. Data from DOHMH's 2005 Community Health Survey indicate that, during the 2004-05 flu season, 31% of healthcare workers got their recommended flu shot, leaving many seniors, chronically ill patients and young children at greater risk for getting the flu from their provider.

"It is critical for health care workers to get a flu shot early in this - and every - flu season," said Dr. Frieden. "It not only protects them from the flu, but their patients, and their families. Evidence shows that vaccinating health care workers reduces influenza-related deaths among the elderly in nursing homes, and reduces the time staff are out sick. When you get your flu shot this year, make sure to ask your doctor if they've had theirs, too."

"If you do catch the flu this season and have a fever and cough, stay home from work or school," said Dr. Frieden. "As always, covering your coughs and sneezes and washing your hands prevents the spread of germs."

Who Should Get a Flu Shot:
  • People age 50 and older, especially those 65 and older
  • All health care workers
  • Pregnant women
  • Children age 6 months until their 5th birthday
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • Persons age 5 - 49 years with long-term health problems such as: diabetes; lung disease (including asthma); heart disease; kidney disease; sickle cell anemia; compromised immune systems (including people with HIV/AIDS, and those being treated for cancer or taking high-dose steroids); conditions that can cause breathing problems (such as cognitive dysfunction, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other neuromuscular disorders); children aged 5 to 18 years on long-term aspirin therapy
  • Caregivers and household members of infants younger than 6 months (babies this age can get the flu but are too young for a flu shot)
  • Caregivers and household members of people listed above
Where to get a Flu Shot

New Yorkers should get a flu shot from the family doctor or primary care provider. Additionally, many employers offer free or low-cost flu shots. Flu shots for people in high-risk groups are available at no cost at DOHMH clinics (see list below) and at no- or low-cost at more than 30 Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) facilities located citywide (see link below). Flu shots for people 65 and older are also available at City-operated senior centers. For more on where to get a flu shot, visit nyc.gov/health/flu or call 3-1-1.

Help Stop the Spread of Flu and Other Infections
  • Get a flu shot every year as soon as you can
  • Stay home if you are sick with fever and cough
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating
Information about the Flu

The flu is a serious disease, the complications of which cause 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations in the U.S annually. Symptoms include fever over 100ºF, chills, sore throat, cough, severe headache, and muscle aches. Individuals who experience these symptoms or have been exposed to someone with the flu should consult with their health care provider immediately to find out if antiviral drugs may be helpful. Treatment with antiviral medications within 48 hours can sometimes make the illness less severe. Antibiotics are not effective against influenza.

DOHMH monitors flu activity in nursing homes and other congregate care facilities as part of its seasonal flu surveillance among physicians, labs, ambulance runs, and emergency departments, but the Department does not track every individual case of flu. Flu season generally peaks in January or February. For more information about the flu, call 3-1-1 or visit nyc.gov/health/flu.

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NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH FLU SHOT CLINICS
nyc.gov/html/doh/html/imm/immclin.shtml

Flu shots are offered from October through June. No appointment is necessary; persons will be seen on a first come first served basis. Children between the ages of 4 and 18 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. DOHMH clinics are closed on City observed holidays. Call 311 for further information about available vaccination services.

CLINIC
POPULATION SERVED
DAYS/TIMES OF OPERATION
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS
BRONX - Tremont Health Center
1826 Arthur Avenue - 1st Fl.
Bronx, New York
Btwn: Cross Bronx Expwy & Tremont Ave.
Children > 4 years of age and Adults
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
8:30 AM to - 2:30 PM
#2 or #5 train to East Tremont Ave-West Farms Square, or #4 train to Burnside Ave, then Bx40 or Bx42 bus to Arthur Ave
MANHATTAN - Chelsea Health Center
303 Ninth Avenue - 1st Fl.
Manhattan, New York
Btwn: 27th & 28th Sts.
Children > 4 years of age and Adults
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
8:30 AM to - 2:30 PM
C or E train to West 23rd Street or 1 train to West 28th Street
QUEENS - Corona Health Center
34-33 Junction Blvd - Basement
Queens, New York
Btwn: 34th Ave. & 34th Rd.
Adults
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
8:30 AM to - 2:30 PM
#7 train to Junction Boulevard
BROOKLYN - Homecrest Health Center
1601 Avenue S - 1st Fl
Brooklyn, New York
Btwn: East 16th & E 17th Sts.
Children > 4 years of age and Adults
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
8:30 AM to - 2:30 PM
B or Q train to Kings Highway, or Q train to Ave. U
STATEN ISLAND - Richmond Health Center
51 Stuyvesant Place - 1st floor
Staten Island, New York
Btwn: Wall St & Richmond Terrace
Adults (Flu and Pneumonia Shots)
Mondays (starting October 16)
8:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal
NEW YORK CITY HEALTH AND HOSPITALS CORPORATION FLU SHOT LOCATIONS
www.nyc.gov/hhc

Each of the HHC's facilities will have vaccines on hand and will administer them to New Yorkers who request them. Uninsured patients will receive shots at no cost. For more information about where you can get a flu shot, call 3-1-1.